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Chywanprash: Ayurveda’s secret weapon

Thousands of years ago, an elderly man by the name of Chyawan fell in love with a much younger woman.  Determined to find a way to restore his youth so that he could be with his new love, he turned to the best Ayurvedic doctors of his day and asked them to make him an herbal formula that would fulfill his wish. The formula they came up with was named chyawanprash, which means “eaten by Chyawan.”  Not only did Chyawan regain his youth and vigor by eating this formula, he was able to start a family with his young bride.


Chywanprash is an Ayurvedic jam that is full of vitamins and minerals, as well as tonifying and rejuvenating herbs. Known as the Ayurvedic one-a-day, it has long been my favorite formula for everyday health maintenance and remedy for common illness. I stopped taking a multi-vitamin years ago, and have been eating this instead. Rather than being full of chemicals masked as vitamins that are unrecognizable by our body, it uses natural fruits and herbs to gently supply us with what we need. Chywanprash is great for boosting the immune system, enkindling the digestive fire, strengthening the body, and combating stress and fatigue.

The main ingredient in chywanprash is amalaki, also known as amla fruit. Amalaki is the highest natural source of Vitamin C. This citrus fruit is rich in anti-oxidants, and is good for eyesight, relieves inflammation in the stomach and colon, improves appetite, and regulates blood sugar. Amalaki is also one of the three fruits in another commonly used Ayurvedic formula called triphala.

Along with amalaki, chywanprash also contains ghee, honey and/or sugar, and many other herbs. It is balancing for all constitutions, and is safe for kids to eat.

As general maintenance, I eat chywanprash every day. Personally, I like to just eat it right off the spoon, but I know others that prefer to spread it on toast. I’ve even had chywanprash cookies. Chywanprash is a little funky looking, I’ll admit, but it tastes super sweet and I find it easy to like.

Chywanprash is an effective cold and flu fighter and is the first thing I reach for when I start to feel run down. Dosage is a spoonful a day for maintenance and more when needed. In fact, I tell others to think of it more as a food than as a medicine, so it’s okay to eat several spoonfuls a day if you start to feel unwell.

Make friends with chywanprash, and your body will thank you. I promise.

​© 2019 Lexa Chernin. Enthusiastically created by Launch Design Collective. Photos by Alessandra Manzotti